Opinion articles

Picking a proxy

Picking a proxy

Lebanon’s economy only grows when the country is given a geopolitical purpose bigger than its size. This country’s first “Golden Era” was arguably ushered in during the presidency of Fouad Chehab. The US loved him and – up until 1967 – viewed Lebanon as a key partner in the fight against Communism in the Middle

A disappointing win

Three years ago, we asked then Minister of Energy Gebran Bassil about how millions of dollars made from the sale of oil and gas data were being managed as part of our coverage of the governance of the nascent industry. He told us it wasn’t important. When we ran an article suggesting such secrecy is

Another red flag

On Friday, July 1, two men walked toward a microphone to speak as representatives of their respective political parties, but not in their official capacity as ministers. Following a closed-door meeting, they declared the end to a three-year feud. A bilateral deal had been reached concerning the nation’s potential hydrocarbon resources. Lebanon was set to

Decoding the oil deal

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri is having trouble making up his mind. Or so it seems. On July 1, Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil struck an unexpected deal. The agreement was touted as a bulldozer clearing the final barrier that, for over three years, has blocked the conclusion of Lebanon’s first offshore oil and gas

Wasted opportunities

The lack of transparency in finding a way out of the July 2015 garbage crisis is appalling. Last August, the private sector put forward offers that would have seen modern waste solutions put in place all over the country. The volume of Lebanon’s waste being sent to landfill would have dramatically fallen (see policy story).

A strategy, please

Lebanon’s tourism stakeholders have learned the hard way that an over-reliance on one type or one nationality of tourists is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. One need only take a look at cities such as Bhamdoun or Aley – and even Beirut, to some extent, which saw a drastic drop in footfall once

Banking on our self-reliance

The first rule of business ethics is: if you’re not proud enough of your work to talk publicly about it, something must be wrong. That the government once again cancelled a waste management contract without even naming the winner proves something dirty is going on. Worse than the implementation, of course, is the actual plan.

Get your house in order

Alain Saadeh, the lead actor in Film Kteer Kbeer (Very Big Shot), shocked audiences at a domestic awards show on May 28 when he refused the Murex d’Or award. Speaking on behalf of the director and production crew of his film, Saadeh pronounced the Lebanese award show, which recognizes regional players in a variety of

An ode to strength

Last month Lebanon celebrated, on May 25, our liberation and resistance national holiday for the 16th time. The region also marks 100 years of the Sykes-Picot Agreement’s adoption on May 16, which was signed in secret by colonial powers to delineate areas of power in the Near East. We commemorate too that 10 years ago

In need of a new national economic strategy

Our economy is seriously underperforming. While this isn’t a surprise, it still bothers me every single day. I love our banks, but they are only part of the equation for real economic success. We need functioning capital markets, and we needed them yesterday. I love our central bank, but it simply cannot continue being the

Top